COUGARS have signed hooker Christopher Callimore on a month’s loan – but he is not in the squad for Sunday’s Betfred League One home clash with rock-bottom West Wales Raiders.

The Halifax player has been added to the ranks for Keighley, who have lost influential scrum half Matty Beharrell for four to six weeks following a fractured shoulder and hamstring tear in the 29-20 defeat at Doncaster last Sunday.

Cougars have also released England Universities player Lewis Fairhurst, who scored three tries in four appearances after joining from Dewsbury Rams.

Scott Law’s inclusion means the veteran prop is now expected to make his 200th appearance.

Matthew Bailey is rested after tweaking his hip during the loss to Doncaster but captain Josh Tonks returns after being on the sidelines for a fortnight with the back injury sustained in last month’s victory over London Skolars.

Jose Kenga and Trae O’Sullivan are also brought into the 20-man squad, which will be reduced by one.

Head coach Craig Lingard said: “With Matty Beharrell being injured and Lewis Fairhurst leaving, it means that players will have to play in different positions, so it was important for us to get cover in.

“Chris being a hooker allows us to have the cover should Ryan Wright or Nathan Conroy have to cover for Matty while I look to get a half-back in on loan.”

The loss of Beharrell is a major blow and he was one player who was exempted from Lingard’s stinging criticism after the Doncaster defeat.

Lingard said: “He pulled his hamstring, but when he went to the hospital on Monday, he found out he’d fractured his shoulder too, so he’ll be out for a while.

“I think sometimes when you have a bad performance, you question the willingness and desire of the squad but with Matty refusing to come off with that shoulder injury, it just shows the dedication that these players have.”

Prop Bailey made his 100th career appearance in the Doncaster defeat, scoring a rare try.

Lingard highlighted the importance of having unsung players like him, saying: “Every team needs people like him.

“You need players that score the tries, kick the goals and look good but Matt does a lot of the unseen work which is recognised by everyone, and he’s won the Coaches’ Player and Players’ Player of the Year the last two seasons.

“He’ll often be the person that puts his hand up and takes that first carry that nobody else wants.

“You also know you’ll get at least a seven out of ten performance from him every week, and that consistency is so important for the team as the star players can run hot and cold.”

The coach is frustrated to be playing Betfred League One whipping boys West Wales this weekend, as he feels the players cannot show the reaction he needs after the Doncaster defeat.

He admitted: “It’s against York next week where we need to learn from the Doncaster game.

“If we get into a position to win that, we’ve got to close it out. You have to perform for 80 minutes against the top teams.”


1 – Ritchie Hawkyard

2 – Andy Gabriel

4 – Adam Ryder

5 – Davey Dixon

8 – Scott Law

9 – Nathan Conroy

10 – Trae O’Sullivan

12 – Brendon Rawlins

13 – Mike Emmett

15 – Ryan Wright

16 – Harvey Hallas

17 – Cameron Leeming

18 – Josh Tonks

23 – Benn Hardcastle

28 – Harry Aaronson

29 – Brad Nicholson

31 – Jose Kenga

32 – Dan Parker

34 – Perry Whiteley

35 – Darrell Griffin